Zoop To The Future” is a point-n-click adventure game based on the independent animated web series from The Zero Counts called “The Somewhat Comical Adventures of Prickley Pete!”.

Joey Rodriguez one of the two brothers behind this project sent me an email explaining about their game

Joey Rodriguez :
Hey Maxim,

My name is Joey Rodriguez and my brother Danny and I are currently developing an Indie point-n-click adventure game called “Zoop To The Future!” for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, and the iPad. We know that Linux doesn’t get much love when it comes to video games so we thought we’d pass some info on to you to see if you were interested in maybe writing a story about it for your website or just keeping the info for future reference.

The game is about a blobby, stubby-armed ghost named Prickley Pete and his two best friends, two humans named Joey and Danny (yes, based on us!), who must travel through time to help Prickley Pete’s ghost relatives fix the past and prevent Prickley Pete from losing his catchphrase, “Zoop!” forever. Along the way, things get more complicated when his newborn babies are kidnapped and scattered throughout the space time continuum.

“Zoop To The Future!” is based on an animated series we created called, “The Somewhat Comical Adventures of Prickley Pete!” which stars the same three main characters going cross country to expose the Ghost Hunters on television for who they really are, demons bent on world domination through TV ratings…or something.

Danny and I wrote, directed, and animated all 14 ½ episodes of Season 1 ourselves and we even do all the voices (South Park is a big influence) and we will be doing the same thing for “Zoop To The Future!” under our two-person game development company, The Zero Counts. Danny, a graduate of Full Sail’s Game Development program will be handling all the coding duties and I will be animating everything and we will both share the writing and voice-acting duties.

“Zoop To The Future!” is inspired by all those classic Lucas Arts games we played when we were kids, like The Curse of Monkey Island, Sam & Max Hit The Road, Grim Fandango, and Day of the Tentacle. It will feature over 225 characters to interact with, each with their own unique voice, look, and dialogue choices, 200+ items to pick up and use for puzzles, 85+ different locations as well as over 15 different time periods. This game is going to be huge!

A unique feature of the game will be that you can control all three characters at once or individually to solve puzzles as well as use them in three separate time periods to affect the past, present and future!

We plan to submit “Zoop To The Future!” to Valve Software in hopes of getting it on Steam, their digital distribution platform. If approved, we hope to take advantage of Steamworks, which allows for Steam Achievements, Stat Tracking, and Steam Cloud.

Right now we are trying to raise money to cover some of the development costs such as the licensing fees for programs, music, fonts, etc. We know that it’s awkward to ask complete strangers to give us money, so we are not forcing people to send us money, but if they do, depending on how much they donate, they will get free copies of the game, free T-Shirts, free stuffed toys, free music, and a ton of other great rewards.

Hello and thank you for contacting me.

I’ve watched a few episodes of your show and I gotta ask you, how do you come with those weird ideas ?
Also the sound effects are loader then the voices, I find it somewhat disturbing.

In the game, what “special abilities” each character will have ?
What software are you using to develop this game ?
Any estimation date on when the game will be out ?

Joey Rodriguez :
Hey Maxim,

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

I don’t really know how we come up with all the stuff that’s on the show, it just kind of comes out! A lot of stuff literally just happens when I’m writing, and if there’s even one line that I think is funny I just run with it and it usually spirals out of control!

In the beginning I didn’t really know much about animation and how to use Flash so the first few episodes are a little wonky, if you check out Episode 14 (the season 1 finale) you’ll see it’s a lot better, the first few episodes were kind of like a test run, I guess.

They won’t have special abilities like shooting lightning bolts or invincibility, but each character has unique responses and dialogue choices as well as being able to operate three different things in three different place/time periods at once. We do have specific actions for Prickley Pete like he has to go through a door (because he’s a ghost) and he’s the only one who can do it.

We’ve looked at some of the free software like the one that “Time Gentlemen, Please” and “Ben There, Dan That” were built from, but those programs won’t allows us to do 720p and 1080p graphics as well as some of the more complicated puzzles, tons of external cutscenes and stuff like that. We are currently developing our own engine, called Stub-E, to handle all that stuff sort of how the free programs do, but with ability to handle all the crazy stuff we want in there, and we’re thinking it of releasing it to the public so more people can take advantage of it.

Right now the tentative release date is Summer 2011. We just found out about the new Back to the Future game and we’re kind of waiting to see what they do so we don’t copy it and get blamed for it!

As for art, just like the show, I’ll be doing all the art in Flash and then exporting it to our engine.

Features :

  • Using the same animation techniques as the animated web series, you can literally play the show!
  • Play as Joey, Danny, and Prickley Pete (all at once) as you help Prickley Pete restore his family timeline. Travel to the past, the present, and even the super future in order to rescue his children and prevent him from losing his “Zoop!” forever!
  • There are over fifteen unique time periods (The Jurassic Period! Colonial Times! The Super Future! Space! Dystopia!) to explore, each with their own puzzles, characters, and ridiculous goings-ons!
  • Over 200 individual, interactable characters are featured in the game (not to mention the hundreds of background characters and other wacky nonsense), each with their own unique voice and look, as well as having an integral part to the story.

Puzzles :
– Even across multiple time periods! What you do in the past may affect the future! Have all three characters in the same time period or multiple periods in order to pull off big expansive puzzles
– use your wacky inventory (high-tech floss, kind of poopy water, orange drink, guns!)
– use dialogue and the right questions and answers to outsmart the puzzle
– independently control all three characters for different actions to beat ’em
– and they’ll probably be some mini-games…I guess…maybe not….No.

Other stuff :
– Easy to use menu and navigation, switch between the characters quickly and easily, navigate your inventory with ease!
– Achievements!
– Behind the Scenes nonsense!
– Unlockables…maybe!
– Even an audio commentary that you can listen to while you play the game!




About Donating:

Game Info:
Zoop To The Future! Official Website
The Zero Counts, Official Developers Website
The Somewhat Comical Adventures of Prickley Pete
Zoop To The Future! Twitter
The Zero Counts Twitter

“Zoop To The Future” release is planned for summer 2011